Dehydration in athletes can lead to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. Other heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, have even more serious consequences. It’s important for athletes to pay attention to how much water they’re drinking before, during, and after exercise.
For a long run or workout, make sure you’re well-hydrated during the days leading up to the workout. Making sure you’re well-hydrated before a long workout will help decrease your chances of dehydration following the workout.
Try to drink at least 16 ounces of water an hour before beginning a workout. Then, during the process of the workout, only drink when thirsty. As a general rule of thumb, doctors suggest consuming four to six ounces of water every 20 minutes during a workout. In a longer or more intense workout, some of your fluid intake could include a sports drink, which can help replace minerals lost during the workout.
For more information on avoiding dehydration, heat-related illnesses, and other sports medicine, contact the doctors at Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center (605) 385-0085.